Benny and I had lesson number two with KB last night. Our first lesson was good....but last night was significantly better. Since we had the introductions out of the way we were able to get to work right away. I gave a progress report that our work had been going pretty well since out last lesson, but some days Benny comes out resistant and I'm not sure what I should be doing to break up that resistance. KB suggested lots of transitions, and we set off to work on those.
Going up in to trot Benny has a little hop step that he likes to take and he inverts at the same time, regardless of if I felt like I had him round enough before the transition. We worked on this by easing in to the transition rather than asking for a really crisp transition. It was my job to keep him where I wanted him, and if I lost it I was supposed to "deny" the transition. It only took a couple of tries with this idea in mind before we got a beautiful transition. We repeated this several times and most of the transitions were quite a bit better than normal.
For the transition from trot to walk, at times, we stall out. KB had us work on the "touchdown exercise" which was basically to bring him down to the walk and if at any time I didn't like the direction things were going I needed to move him forward again. Asking him to continue trotting holds true whether you've had no walk steps, 1 walk step or 4 walk steps. Any time that transition falls apart he needs to get moving again. She described it as "deflating" during the transition. He expects to be done once he reaches the walk and therefore he falls flat into the walk and I lose the ability to keep him moving. Obviously, I always want the option (and ability) to change plans and continue on with the trot. Both of these exercises require me to think on my feet, and change plans as the situation calls for it. Really, riding in general requires that ability, but sometimes I get sucked in to accepting mediocre results when I need to have higher expectations.
For the canter we worked on shoulder-fore and then a hint of counter canter. This was completed by riding a 20 meter circle, turning him as though we were going to do a 10 meter circle (the shoulder-fore) and then allowing him to travel straight (hint of counter canter) before bringing him back around to that 10 meter circle turn. Its hard to explain well but I could really feel his canter change as we worked through the exercise. As always, Benny was a lovely partner through out our lesson. If you need us we'll be out practicing our transitions!